Morris R. Flynn, Ph.D., P.Eng.

Professor of mechanical engineering
Adjunct professor of mathematics
Director of First Year Engineering


  • 2007/08 - Post-doc (Applied Math) MIT
  • 2006 - Ph.D (Engineering Science) U. California, San Diego
  • 2003 - M.Sc. (Applied Math) U. Alberta
  • 2000 - B.Sc. (Chemical Engineering, Co-op) U. Alberta


  1. BUCKLING OF THIN, VISCOUS FILMS: Pull on an elastic sheet (e.g. a piece of Saran wrap) and you will see a series of wrinkles develop with roughly evenly spaced crests. Comparable buckling behavior is also possible when considering thin, viscous films. The analogy between one and the other problem is termed the Stokes-Rayleigh analogy and enjoys a rich history in the fluid mechanics literature.
  2. BUOYANT CONVECTION IN POROUS MEDIA:Strategies for decarbonizing energy systems often make reference to porous media flow e.g. the geological sequestration of CO2 or the geological storage of green H2. I am interested in understanding these processes with particular focus on the interplay between leakage, dissolution and dispersion.
  3. CONTINUUM MODELS OF TRAFFIC FLOW: As with fluid mechanics, a fruitful avenue for understanding traffic flow is to model the stream of particles (in this case vehicles) as a continuum. This approach allows one to model the complicated behavior of "phantom jams," which arise in the absence of bottlenecks and lane closures.
  4. GRAVITY CURRENT AND INTRUSIONS: Gravity currents, horizontal flows driven by small density differences, are ubiquitous in the natural environment..An important goal of my research is to characterize the properties of gravity currents (e.g. their speed and shape) using numerical, experimental and/or theoretical modeling.
  5. INTERNAL GRAVITY WAVES: Vertically propagating waves that exist inside of a continuously stratified fluid are responsible for phenomena as distinct as clear air turbulence to mixing along ocean continental shelves. I am interested in studying the properties (e.g. the vertical modal structure) of such internal waves e.g. those excited by oscillating solid bodies.
  6. NATURAL VENTILATION/ARCHITECTURAL FLUID MECHANICS: Strategies for ventilating modern buildings without energy-intensive equipment are being developed rapidly, but many fundamental questions regarding this technology remain unresolved. For instance, it is unclear how to best optimize system performance given that real buildings have a complicated internal geometry and are forced by a combination of internal and external factors.
  7. PLASTRON RESPIRATION BY AQUATIC INSECTS: Using tools familiar to engineers, one can gain particular insights into the phenomenon of plastron respiration, which allows select species of insects to breathe underwater without benefit of gills.Research in this area is inherently multidisciplinary requiring a combination of mechanics, chemistry and biology.